Aldeburgh & Thorpeness

We visited Aldeburgh on our week away in Suffolk. A beautiful traditional coastal town, located on the River Alde which is a town notable for its Blue Flag shingle beach and fisherman huts where freshly caught fish are sold on a daily basis. Interestingly, second homes make up roughly a third of the residential property here, and it is no surprise.

The beach is mainly shingle, but despite this Archie had a great time.

Suffolk Holiday - Sunday
On the beach itself stands a sculpture, The Scallop. It is dedicated to Benjamin Britten (an English composer, conductor and pianist), who used to walk along the beach in the afternoons. Created from stainless steel by Suffolk-based artist Maggi Hambling, it stands 4m high and was unveiled in November 2003. The piece is made up of two interlocking scallop shells, each broken, the upright shell being pierced with the words: “I hear those voices that will not be drowned”, which are taken from Britten’s opera Peter Grimes. The sculpture is both visual and tactile and people are encouraged to sit on it and watch the sea. If approached fro the Thorpeness direction it has a totally different silhouette appearing to be a knight on a rearing charger. Of course, it is a source of controversy in the local area.

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Inshore, the high street offered local delights, independent boutiques, antiques and arts as well as an independent book shop and cinema amongst the substantial variety of culinary temptation  from the rightly-renowned fish and chip shop to fine dining, pizzas and of course ice-cream!

Just upstream the Alde is Snape Malting’s which is home to the concert hall built by Benjamin Britten and friends and now also home to a complex of shops and eateries (which we didn’t have time to visit, but is an excuse to return here) along with stunning walks laid-out across the reed beds.

Past the Scallop is the equally lovely Thorpeness which began life as a private fantasy holiday village, built by Glencairn Stuart Ogilvy in 1910. A fascinating village with its mock Tudor and Jacobean architecture is home to the Meare, an artificial boating lake covering over 60 acres inspired by JM Barrie’s Peter Pan.

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